This month, Kick-Butt Kid Litis introducing its 10 contributors. Here is a Q&A with author Kendra Young.
1. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Kendra:“Just write.” Interestingly enough, this advice didn’t come from anotherwriter, blog, or even a book on writing. It came from my husband. I was having
serious doubts about the amount of time I spent in front of the keyboard or
reading books about writing. But he
supported me, unwaveringly, as he always does. So in those times that I’ve felt
like I needed to get a reality check and do something else, I hear my husband
saying, “Just write,” and so, well, I do.
Kendra: I’m going to go with authors, because I really do enjoy almost all genres and I have far too many favorite characters to list. So here we go: Madeleine L’Engle, J.K. Rowling, Gail Carriger,
Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Richard Yancey, Peter Brett, and I could read any of
the Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle over and over forever
and again. There are also a couple of critique partners I can’t wait to add to
3. Which book world would you
love to live in?
Kendra: I’m sorry, I can’t lie. Ship me off to
4. What’s in your writing cave?
Kendra: We do have a home office and there are
times I like write in there. The room has tons of windows on three walls, so I
have this panoramic view of our yard and beyond. But you’re just as likely to
find me piled up in my bed or on the couch with my laptop. Coffee shops and
Panera Bread are also favorite writing places for me.
5. What’s your secret identity
Kendra: I spend my days teaching seventh
graders. Some folks think I’m insane, but seventh graders really are some of my
favorite people. There’s something refreshing about working with a group of
people in which none of them are afraid to say, “Mrs. Young, what were you
thinking with those highlights?” Oh yes, it’s happened (and I think it’s
6. What resource did you wish
you’d known about when you first started out writing/querying?
Kendra: I wish I’d known about the writing
community itself. I’m a prime example of an introvert (except when I’m in the
classroom, and then I’m the total opposite). I spent years writing alone, never
knowing what a fantastic group of people writers really are. Writing can be a lonely adventure, but it doesn’t have to be. Grab a writing friend, or ten, and see where you all end up!
7. Pen and paper or keyboard?
Kendra: For me, it’s both. I typically outline
on paper and if I’m stuck, drafting the story by hand for a bit often helps me
regain my focus and perspective. However, everything always gets loaded into
Scrivener before it’s over and I do my final edits in Word.
8. What book(s) have taught you
the most about writing?
Kendra: Hands down, On Writing by Stephen King. If you haven’t read it you really
should, and if you have read it you already know why we all need to read it
9. What is your current work in
Kendra: My current WIP is about a teen girl
who’s struggling to manage her life amidst her father’s crippling mental
illness, while also questioning if she’s beginning to show symptoms herself.
The research alone for this manuscript has taught me so much, in addition to
giving me a profound level of respect for individuals suffering from mental
illness. I’m so excited to see how it turns out, while also hoping I can manage
to do it justice.
10. Guilty pleasure?
Kendra: I have three–two television shows and a b-rated movie addiction. My daughters and I share a love of Supernatural (my step-daughter even has life-size cutouts of Sam and Dean in her bedroom, but we’re planning to kidnap them soon). The second is a guilty
pleasure we share as a family: Once Upon a Time. We’re total addicts and we don’t care. Finally, I’m a sucker for cheesy (and sometimes not so cheesy) Scifi movies. Wait, it’s SyFy now, right? Anyway, one of my favorite things to do is stay in bed late on the weekends and see exactly how bad it can get. Sharknado, anyone?